Impact of Land Conservation
Support Land Conservation
Mass Audubon permanently protects nearly 37,000 acres of land across Massachusetts, providing important opportunities for all people to experience the wonders of nature firsthand while also safeguarding a wide range of habitats and native wildlife species.
After successfully protecting more than 12,000 acres since 2000, Mass Audubon’s statewide sanctuary system stands as the largest ownership of privately conserved land in the commonwealth.
Accomplishments in FY 2016 include, but are not limited to:
Completed Land Conservation Projects
With the support of generous individuals, foundations, families, businesses, communities, and public and private partners, we protected 1,234 acres of important land across Massachusetts. Highlights include:
- Protection of 264 acres abutting our Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton. Mass Audubon teamed up with the Princeton Land Trust, the Town of Princeton, City of Worcester, and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to protect Fieldstone Farm, an iconic former dairy farm with scenic views, high quality agricultural soils, exemplary wildlife habitat, and protection for the downstream public water supplies of both Worcester and Boston.
- Acquisition of 228 acres in Wendell as key additions to the Whetstone Wood Wildlife Sanctuary, now the largest single Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary in Massachusetts. This sanctuary will be managed explicitly to minimize human impact and export knowledge regarding wildlands stewardship in the years, decades, and centuries to come.
- Acquisition of 255 acres at Cold Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Otis and Sandisfield comprised of rich mesic forest, early successional habitat, and land along the main stem of the Farmington River, is now approaching 1,000 acres in size. This highly intact landscape is projected to help nature there be more resilient to the impacts of climate change in the important years ahead.
- Acquisition of 100 acres at West Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, Plainfield. The protection of this land, through a generous donation from long-time friends of Mass Audubon, has been a longstanding priority for Mass Audubon at our West Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. It is part of a corridor of land linking West Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kenneth Dubuque State Forest. Protection will enhance the resilience of nature within the broader protected landscape to the impacts of climate change by increasing both landscape complexity (habitat diversity) and connectivity.
In October 2015, Mass Audubon was awarded Land Trust Accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance, providing important independent confirmation that Mass Audubon’s policies, practices, and programs meet or exceed national standards for excellence, uphold public trust, and ensure that our conservation actions will have permanence.
We are an active participant in the vibrant public/private land conservation community in Massachusetts – working to expand the impact of other organizations statewide.
- Mass Audubon is once again a top-level sponsor of the annual Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference
- Staff serve as Trustees of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition
- Many staff present capacity building workshops at the Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference, the National Land Trust Rally convened by the land Trust Alliance, and at other venues.
"Mass Audubon plays a vitally important role in Massachusetts’s conservation community. Not only are they leaders in protecting our treasured landscapes but also in the fields of education, community outreach and advocacy work on issues important to our environment. Their willingness to share time and resources with the Mass Land Trust Coalition and fellow conservationists has been invaluable. We are truly thankful for such a strong partnership." — Marylynn Gentry, Executive Director, Mass Land Trust Coalition